Former Arlington Martin volleyball coach Joni McCoy will be inducted into the Texas Girls Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Wednesday in a ceremony in Arlington after a 29-year career that included 677 victories.
McCoy began her career as an assistant at Arlington High in 1976 before becoming Martin's head coach when the school opened in 1982. In 23 years, she led the Warriors to the playoffs 19 times, won the 1996 state championship and made three more state tournament appearances. She is a graduate of Fort Worth Castleberry.
She will be inducted along with Lynn Davis Pool of the Austin school district and McMurry University track coach Barbara Crousen.
How were you contacted and what was your reaction to being told of your induction into the TGCA Hall of fame? [TGCA Executive Director] Sam Tipton called me and I thought, 'Oh, no, he's going to want me to speak and coach at the clinic and I haven't coached in years.' I really didn't know what it was about, so when he told me, I didn't really know what to say. I thanked him and those kind of things.
What are your feelings about returning to Arlington? I'm looking forward to seeing my friends. I'm just going to drive in, do the banquet, go eat at Joe T's and maybe Zeke's over on Camp Bowie and then get on the road and head back to Colorado.
You built the Martin volleyball program into a powerhouse from scratch. How did you do it? What's your explanation for all of your success? I think I had some good mentors. My first coaching job was under Lynda Bradham at Arlington High and my high school coach was Shirley Langdon. Then I played at UTA and there was no scholarship money or anything like that. If you wanted to play you did it on your own.
When you look back at your 29-year career at AISD what stands out the most and what do you usually think about? How I watched the sport and girls athletics overall develop. We weren't the stepchild anymore, we were up and going, girls could get scholarships and go to college.
What enabled that transformation for women's athletics in your opinion? Title IX. It made us feel like we were almost on the same playing field as men. You know, I'm always into the equality thing, but to be realistic, I'm not sure that there is such a thing as equality, but we got up there.
How is retirement in Colorado treating you? How do you keep yourself busy? I work part time at a no-kill animal shelter called Clark Valley Humane Society. It's my new thing. I love the animals and, of course, I have adopted a few. It doesn't matter how old they are, we let them live their lives and try and find them homes. I exercise, I fish and ATV and I feel good.
I read that you are a breast cancer survivor. How is your health overall? I was diagnosed on Dec. 29, 1999. I had breast cancer and it's gone. Every mammogram has been good, but it was a rough year. I know it's had a big impact on me. The first five years you're a little bit nervous; every little ache or pain makes you go, 'Oh, no.' As time goes by it gets easier and you don't think about it as much anymore. If I get cancer again, I'll go after it just like my doctor went after it before. It's doable.
Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760